A health care proxy is a legal document that designates someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. In New York, a health care proxy provides many benefits as part of a comprehensive estate plan.
There are several reasons to consider a health care proxy.
1. Personalized decision-making
When you have a health care proxy, you can appoint a trusted individual to make healthcare decisions in line with your preferences. This ensures that your care providers follow your beliefs and medical wishes, even when you are unable to communicate them. Your health care proxy preserves your say in your healthcare, regardless of the circumstances.
2. Legal protection
A health care proxy is a legally binding document, ensuring that your chosen proxy has the authority to make decisions on your behalf. This legal protection not only empowers your proxy to act in your best interests but also safeguards against any potential disputes among family members or medical professionals.
3. Continuity of care
Having a health care proxy ensures that someone makes your medical decisions promptly. In emergency situations, every moment counts. Your proxy can swiftly communicate with healthcare providers, ensuring that you receive appropriate care without delays.
4. Reduced stress
A health care proxy can significantly reduce stress and uncertainty during challenging times. Knowing that someone you trust can make your healthcare decisions provides peace of mind while sparing your proxy the burden of guesswork and difficult choices.
According to Forbes, 67% of American adults lack a health care proxy. Understanding the many benefits that this document offers can help you better appreciate the role it plays as you draft your estate plan and consider your long-term wishes.